I am both unfortunate and at the same time enormously priviliedged to live close to Heathrow Airport (LHR) and underneath one of the world's busiest and most important flight paths. Normally the sky is full of con-trails tracing the track of huge aircraft making their way to and from London Airport (LHR) and the major airports on the continent of Europe. The surroundings are never quiet. The rumble is constant and depending on wind direction flights from "the world's busiest airport" going to Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and the distant destinations of the old British Empire - India, Pakistan, Africa, the Arabian Gulf, Australia, - come directly over my house, and those bound for America are visible and highly audible as they turn away before reaching me. I welcome them, log them and also curse them.
But today everything is absolutely QUIET!!!! The sky is CLEAR!!!! The dust cloud from the volcano in Iceland has stopped all aviation. There is not a single rumbling noise; only the sound of birds. No planess bound for America: in fact NOTHING to ANYWHERE.
At which point I make a big leap and signal the TV programme. BBC television recently showed a British-made police drama series based the Swedish novels about the Ystad Police detective Kurt Wallander. The BBC is now showing the original Swedish-made TV dramas in Swedish with sub-titles. It's fascinating to compare and contrast how the different film directors and cameramen have filmed the "Wallander" dramas in similar but also in distinctively different ways. But at the end of the day we are left with one very clear message: whether Swedish or British we have such similar concerns, and our lives are so closely linked.
And so, back to the Icelandic volcano: no aviation, no contact, no meeting point, yet all of us facing the same potentially serious economic consequencies, and all of us realising that we live in one very small "common home".